Despite a difficult back nine, Charl Schwartzel won the first-ever tournament on the controversial LIV circuit on Saturday in London. By adding the victory of his team, the Stinger GC, he received the tidy sum of $4.75 million.
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This is the largest check awarded to the winner of an event in the history of professional golf.
Schwartzel (72), however, almost escaped victory. Leading by three shots going into the third and final round, he birdied twice but also double-bogeyed and bogeyed twice in the last seven pennants.
His cumulative 203 (-7) allowed him to edge teammates and South African compatriots Hennie du Plessis (70), by one shot, and Branden Grace (65), by two.
Dustin Johnson (70) meanwhile finished eighth, at -1, while Phil Mickelson (76) had to settle for 34th place – out of 48 – at 10. Andy Ogletree (75), dead last at 24, despite all won $120,000 for his performance.
Recall that the LIV circuit is financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and founded by former player Greg Norman. The PGA announced on Thursday that it was suspending all golfers who joined.